Best Growlers

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

48 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
402 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best growlers

Last Updated November 2019

There's nothing like sipping a cold, carbonated beer on a hot day (or a cool day, for that matter), but if you brew your own beer or your favorite draft isn't available in cans or bottles, you might want to add a beer growler to your bar setup.

All you need to do now is pick the best beer growler to fit your needs. Easy, right? Not necessarily. You'll find thousands of growlers on the market, with a range of different varieties, materials, shapes, and sizes available, so choosing just one can seem overwhelming.

Luckily for you, the team at BestReviews has made a list of our top five growlers, in addition to writing a detailed guide to everything growler-related. Read on and you'll soon know all you need to know to make your purchase.

Using a growler is an easy way to transport beer – it's lighter and less awkward to carry than the equivalent volume or beer in bottles or cans.

Types of growlers

Insulated growlers

Insulated growlers are usually made from double-walled stainless steel. The vacuum between the two walls helps the liquid inside stay at the temperature it was when it was poured inside. So, chilled beers will stay cool and those served at room temperature should remain tepid. These are probably the most popular variety of modern growler, and rightly so. Some models can keep beer chilled for as long as 48 hours, so they're perfect for taking to music festivals (if outside booze is allowed in) or on camping trips.

Pressurized growlers

Pressurized growlers are part keg, part growler. They have a built-in tap so you can enjoy a glass or two of the beer inside without exposing the contents to air and spoiling it. As such, there's no need to drink the full growler within a few hours of opening it. Pressurized models use CO2 cartridges and variable pressure regulation caps to maintain the perfect amount of carbonation for as long as two weeks. While they have plenty of benefits, this style of growler is costlier, bulkier, and harder to clean that other options.

Glass growlers

Glass growlers are the original growlers, though they're starting to fall out of favor now as insulated models become more readily available. Glass growlers are simple and inexpensive, but they don't have any insulating properties, so they're not the best option if you want a growler that will keep your beer chilled.

Solid and stylish

Thanks to its sleek appearance, you won't be embarrassed to tote this growler around and the generous 64-ounce capacity is large enough to share with friends. We love that the powder-coated finish resists condensation, no matter how warm it is outside. The handle isn't the most comfortable for long-distance carrying, but we're willing to overlook this due to its other benefits.

Considerations for selecting a growler

Capacity

Think about how much beer you'll want to store or transport. The most common growler sizes are 32 and 64 ounces (the equivalent of just under three and just under six standard bottles of beer) but we've seen pressurized beer growlers that hold as much as 128 fluid ounces. The 64-ounce growler is a fine choice for someone who might normally take a six-pack to a party or to enjoy at home over the weekend.

Material

Due to the popularity of insulated beer growlers, the vast majority of those on the market today are made from stainless steel. Not only do double walled designs keep your beer at the desired temperature, they’re also a lightweight and durable material. Glass is another common option, but it's not nearly as durable and is unlikely to survive a fall onto a hard surface.

Exterior finish

Most stainless-steel growlers have a powder coated exterior finish that's specially designed to avoid condensation. Without this, piles of condensation will form on the outside of your beer growler when you're transporting cold beer on a warm day. If you put your growler in your bag, the condensation can make other items inside wet. You might also want to consider the color finish out your chosen growler. Sure, it's not the most important factor, but an attractive color or pattern can be a decent tiebreaker between two growlers of equal quality.

Portability

Although compact growlers are easier and lighter to transport than large models, it's not the only factor in portability. If you're likely to carry your beer growler in your hand, rather than in a backpack or tote, it should have a decently proportioned handle that's comfortable to hold.

 

EXPERT TIP

If you have a growler, you can take beer home from a bar or brewery, even if it's only available on tap.


Staff  | BestReviews

Price

What's the average price of a growler and how much do you need to spend on quality model? You can find basic models starting at around $10 to $20, with glass being the cheapest option. Mid-range growlers, such as decent insulated models, cost roughly $20 to $60. If you want a high-end growler, such as a pressurized model, expect to pay $60 to $150.

Depending on where you live, there may be laws that dictate which establishments can fill your growler and whether it needs to be labeled with identifying information.

Staff
BestReviews

Back to basics

With its screw cap lid and insulated stainless steel construction, the Grocery Art Beer Growler might be a basic option, but if you can do without all the bells and whistles, this affordable choice is worth your consideration. The neoprene carry case is a nice touch and a real bonus if you regularly get your growler filled at the brewery and carry it home or if you want to take it camping or on picnics.

Tips

  • Check the lid type on your chosen beer growler. The lid is important for keeping the growler properly sealed and maintaining carbonation. Some users find flip top lids more convenient than screw caps.
  • Think about how often you'll use your growler. If you're a huge beer connoisseur who's always trying out new options at your local brewery or you make beer at home, you'll probably want a high-end model, whereas a cheaper option will do for occasional use.
  • Consider the quality of the rim on your chosen growler. A growler is meant for drinking from, so it should be something you feel comfortable taking a swig out of.
  • Decide if you want a growler that will keep your beer chilled. An insulated beer growler can keep beer cold for a day or more, even without refrigeration.
DID YOU KNOW?

A growler keeps beer tasting fresh and retains carbonation for days.

Other products we considered

You've seen our five favorite growlers, but with hundreds on the market, there are more that are worth closer examination, even if they didn't quite make our top picks. If you want to go traditional with a glass growler, the Euro Growler 2 Liter Growler is a fantastic choice. It even has a sturdy metal handle for easier carrying. Thanks to the having the standard government warning and growler size engraved on the bottom, you can have the Yukon Growlers Insulated Beer Growler filled at almost any brewery. What's more, the insulation keeps beer cold and carbonated for up to two days without refrigeration. Another excellent option is the DrinkTanks Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Beer Growler. The flip top lid is easy to open and has a great seal, while the handle makes it comfortable to carry and pour.

You can store or share your own home brew using a beer growler.

FAQ

Q. What's the best way to fill a growler?
A.
When filling a growler from a keg or with a beer on draft, you can fill it straight from the tap as is, but you tend to get lots of head, so you must overfill it to remove the excess head, which is wasteful. The better way is to fill it from the bottom up, using an extension tube that fits on the tap. This produces less foam, so you're left with less spillage and wasted beer.

Q. How can I keep my beer growler clean?
A.
It's important to thoroughly clean your growler between uses. Not only could harmful bacteria grow if you don't, but the taste of stale beer will taint the next brew you put inside. After use, fill your growler with hot, slightly soapy water and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, use a bottle brush to thoroughly scrub the inside – without a brush you won't be able to properly clean out the old beer. Rinse it thoroughly to remove all dish soap residue and leave it upside down to dry on a dish rack. When it's completely dry, store it with the lid off to allow air circulation.

Q. How long will a growler keep my beer fresh?
A.
If your growler is filled right to the brim and you refrigerate it when you return home, the contents will stay fresh for as long as four to six days. Once opened, the beer is best consumed within four to six hours. The exception to this is pressurized beer growlers, which utilize CO2 cartridges to keep beer fresh for up to two weeks, even after pouring yourself a glass.

The team that worked on this review
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Director
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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